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Sun, 08 Dec 2019 13:45 - Updated Sun, 08 Dec 2019 13:45

Georges Chikoti prioritizes ACP contribution regularization

Nairobi - The ACP Group elected general secretary, Georges Chikoti, points out the regularization of the State members finance contributions as the priority of his term in office (2020-2025)

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Geoges Chikoti in his first interview after being elected

Photo: Alberto Juliao

On his first address to press, just after winning the election for the office, last Saturday, the Angolan diplomat criticized the debt not paid by the countries of the organization, specially, those with a low rate contribution.

“… For example, the Caribbean and Pacific countries pay their dues, the African countries are the ones with this problem in the African Union and the ACP budget” – he said.

The official explained that for the budget, the efforts was of 60 percent from European Union and other part from ACP, but the small taxpayers do not pay.

The ACP budget approved for 2020 is of 15 million euro.

Georges Chikoti informed that incomprehensibly the biggest contributors (Angola gives 350,000 Euros annually, South Africa 450,000 Euros, Nigeria 500,000 Euros and the Dominican Republic 400,000 Euros) have no delays, but those with a low rate, for example 10,000 Euros a year, don't pay.

For him, there is a problem, something is not going well. The crisis should not be the reason why the payments are not being done, it’s a lack of goodwill, or then we shall put some penalties to those who do not pay, he warned.

Therefore, he affirmed that in the politic view, “the countries understand that they are working for a common will and when it wanted an organization of this size, the own contributions have to be updated and participation should be in good faith so that the organization can walk”.

On his opinion the task of general secretary is difficult but feasible, since he is willing and capable to do so, even recognizing the great difficulties of the organization, as he prioritizes its restructuring.

The former Angolan Foreign Affair minister, Georges Chikoti stressed also that most African people, even in Angola, are not aware about the ACP existence, by that missing out many benefits.

“There are many things that Angola did not benefited neither used as it could, for example in the fields of family farming, information about the things people need to know, what to produce, where to sell.

“These things are available and it is free training and information that can be done by Angolan agronomists and ACP technicians, but there needs to be that knowledge, willingness to accept that Africa has great dimensions of poverty and problems must be treated at the local level, at the smallest level,” he emphasized.

He expressed his belief that the ACP can do this task well at a time when reforms have been made to decentralize it.

“It means that development programs will be carried out in the regions, but budgets will go through the ACP. “The SADC will have its programs, as well as East Africa and West Africa, they will have to organize so that they can be able to receive that money,” he said.

But for this to happen, he explained that there must be an administrative structure that can absorb the money to implement the projects, as organizations tend to fail due to insufficient management.

On the fact about the use of Portuguese as a working language in the ACP Group, the former Foreign Minister downplayed, noting that “these are things that can be gained over time. We are getting more pictures more money, because it all depends on money, only over time can you earn”,

Regarding his election, he assured that it was due to the personal commitment of the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, in this process.

He also spoke of Minister Manuel Augusto's commitment to his election.

Angola's current ambassador to Belgium, Georges Chikoti was elected last Saturday in Nairobi as secretary general of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, defeating candidates from Malawi Brave Rona Ndisale and Zimbabwe Chifamba Tadeus Tafirenyika.

The election of the Angolan candidate took place during the Session of the ACP Council of Ministers. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti is the first Angolan to hold a prominent position in ACP and replaces Patrick Gomes who has received numerous congratulations from delegates.

He was born in Dondi, Huambo Province, on 6 June 1955. Georges Chikoti holds a master's degree in Economic Geography and a degree in International Relations from the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Georges Chikoti, who speaks fluent English, French, Portuguese, Umbundo and Bemba, has worked at the Imperial Bank of Canada in Toronto and has been a consultant to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

In Angola, he was Deputy Minister of External Relations, and in 2010, he became Foreign Minister, a position he held until 2017.

In 2018, he was appointed Angolan ambassador to the European Union, the Kingdom of Belgium and Luxembourg.

An excellent negotiator, from 1999 to 2000, he headed the Angolan delegation in different sessions of the US-Angola Bilateral Consultative Commission, in Luanda and Washington.

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